(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
This morning just before 8:00 am, a man crashed and fell off of his bicycle while riding south on N. Vancouver Avenue just north of Broadway.
The man was taken away in an ambulance and I have yet to hear official word about his condition. What I do know is that a woman who saw the aftermath said the man was, “hurt badly.” I spoke to a witness at the scene shortly after the roadway was cleared who watched the entire thing unfold (he was standing on the corner when it happen). The witness said the man on the bike was coming down Vancouver as it approaches Broadway when his front wheel rolled over a large and long lump in the road. The bike bobbled, the witness claims, and then the man crashed on Broadway just a few feet south of the tip of the median island that separates Vancouver from the I-5 off-ramp. The witness said the man didn’t move for several minutes and was convulsing before EMTs arrived on the scene.
While it’s hard to say what role the rider played in his crash (he was apparently speeding up to make a green light), the lump in the road is significant. Below are some photos of the lump I took a few minutes ago…
I hope PBOT sends a crew out immediately to warn road users of these bumps (bright spray paint would help) and then follows up by smoothing them out as soon as possible. As we learned from a 2010 study performed by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University, “injury prevention should focus on improving the safety of the bicycle commuting environment.” That study found that about 20% of frequent bike commuters experienced an injury while biking over the course of a year. The key takeaway from that study is that cities need to prioritize the quality of bikeways (keeping them free of hazards), not just the quantity.
Bumps, lumps, streetcar tracks, potholes, debris, gravel and cracks are barely noticeable in a car; but on a bike they test riders’ tolerance. And, as we have unfortunately seen this morning, they can also lead to serious crashes.
Let’s hope this guy makes a full recovery and gets back on his bike soon.